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Utilization and development of human resource potential in selected Latin American underdeveloped economies. Shaw, Richard Paul

Abstract

It is my view, that a serious impediment, in the development and growth of economically underdeveloped Latin American countries with high rates of population growth, is the inability of their economic systems to utilize and absorb continuous additions to their labor force productively. As this condition is expected to persist especially in the rural or agricultural sector of the economy, it is my argument that "push" and "pull" factors can and do operate to mobilize 'redundant', surplus or unemployed labor from sectors or regions where employment opportunities are lacking to sectors where employment opportunities are believed to be in abundance. An important premise then, is that we cannot be optimistic about the possiblity of raising aggregate production over short, or even long run periods in a sector such as agriculture which is hampered by high rates of unemployment and low labor output ratios. In turn, it is my position that if we are "committed" to the economic objective of accelerating the development of the economy's stagnant regions, labor mobility and the reallocation of labor (i.e., reducing conditions of surplus or marginally employed labor in labor surplus areas), to labor intensive "industry" is a necessary prerequisite to the raising of productivity and the encouragement of savings and investment. Accordingly, as we cannot expect that quantities of labor from one sector can be reallocated immediately to another i.e., a question of the "quality" of labor demanded and supplied, an accompanying strategy for the qualitative development of the "human factor" is proposed.

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